October 25, 2016

Nisqually Valley News (NVN) readers comment on their “bias”
NVN polls on JZ Knight’s donations to Dems, omits all others
The Olympian Editorial Board endorses Hulse and Cooper

* NVN poll question “piles-on” in singling-out JZ Knight’s Dems. donations.
* NVN commenters wonder why NVN omitted other campaigns’ contributors.
* Large local contributors to other campaigns identified here, providing balance.
* Women rally in Olympia to protest robocalls against Jim Cooper.
* Glen Morgan’s political committee’s robocalls may violate fed’s election laws
* JZ Knight adding to Dems “broadside” in filing lawsuit against Glen Morgan.
* The Olympian Editorial Board sees thru murk and the mire, endorses Cooper and Hulse.

– Nisqually Valley News (NVN) “piles-on” – polls only on JZ Knight’s campaign contributions.
The NVN posted a poll question last night on their Facebook page:
“JZ Knight raised criticism in the past for political donations. She has again donated money to the Thurston County Democrats in this election cycle. Do you have any objections to her financially supporting candidates? Why or why not? Some comments might be included in an upcoming Nisqually Valley News edition.”

– NVN Facebook readers sum-up in their comments the NVN showing bias :
* “And? She can donate to anyone she wants. I don’t understand what the issue is here? Do you question everyone who raises money for political parties or just JZ Knight? Is this a backhanded slap at the Democrats? This is just weird. I don’t have anything to do with JZ Knight but some of your coverage seems to be biased. Is she a citizen of the United States? Then she can donate money to any candidate she wishes. Weird.”

* “Why single out just one person? If you want to discuss the donations of noteable (sic) residents, then report more than just one.”

* One commenter went even further:
“The NVN has become nothing more than a rag-mag in the past few years. They have no interest in providing real news; they only have interest in selling papers. They wouldn’t last a year if it wasn’t for their ridiculous claims on JZ Knight, Dr. Matt Martinez, or the assinine coverage of Virginia Coverdale. Their current editor should be ashamed of himself. Unfortunately, honest journalism died a long time ago. Just my two cents, none of which I’ll ever spend supporting this feeble attempt of a ‘paper'”
Read more

– Since our Yelm newspaper won’t, let’s balance in listing other large Yelm campaign contributors
Largest donors to the campaigns of Thurston County Commissioners, running as Independents:
Gary Edwards, District 2 candidate:

Mark Schaffer (Olympia Master Builders), Affordable Housing Council of Olympia Master Builders (TAHC), Thurston County Realtors, Waste Connections, Inc., Cushman Law Offices, P. S.
* Large contributors of local note prior to the August Primary:
Michelle Borman, Steve Borman, Keystone Masonry, Margaret Clapp, Schorno Farms, Elizabeth & Joe Williams,EJ Curry (now Yelm City Councilor), Schorno Real Estate (Yelm Real estate),
Read more

John Hutchings, District 1 candidate:
Michelle Borman, Steve Borman, J.R. Setina Mfg Co. Inc. (Olympia), Keystone Masonry, Inc (Yelm)., RH Resources (Governmental Policy Group), Mark F. Shaffer (Olympia Master Builders), Affordable Housing Council of Olympia Master Builders (TAHC), Washington Association of Realtors Political Affairs Council, Waste Connections, Inc.
Read more

About 60 women gathered at the Olympia water-front Saturday afternoon to show their support
for Jim Cooper, candidate for Thurston County Commissioner, subject of a hateful “robo” call that
alleged he ill-treats women. Photo credit: Thurston Democrats

– JZ Knight spoke with the Yelm Community Blog Monday – filing lawsuit against robocalls
Political committees led by property rights activist Glen Morgan have been robocalling against Democratic candidates disparaging JZ Knight’s donations.
JZ Knight told the Yelm Community Blog on October 24, 2016, that she is filing a lawsuit against these Glen Morgan-sourced robocalls. Coupled with the aggressive response of the Thurston Democrats to Glen Morgan, Knight said “A big broadside is coming to Mr. Morgan yet again.” She added, “Since when does one’s opinion of another disqualify them as a constituent and from participating in the democratic process…in donating to the candidates of their choice.”

– Morgan’s robocall rants on Dem. candidates accepting Knight’s donations, says she is a “cultist & racist”
While this is one man’s opinion, since when does one person’s views of another disqualify them as a constituent and from participating in the democratic process…in donating to the candidates of their choice.
Knight is a declared liberal, politically progressive donor, yet every election cycle Morgan attempts to scare off Democratic candidates with this same, tired rhetoric. This time however, he may have violated federal election laws in utilizing Thurston Democrats phone number for the robocalls.
Read more

– The Olympian Editorial Board endorses Democrat candidates Cooper and Hulse
“We favor forward-looking candidates who can smarten up the county’s response to the pocket-gopher issue, find resources to fix roads and hire more sheriff’s deputies, and mend relationships with residents in the south county rural zones. A careful revamping of the permitting system could help enormously.

That is why we think Kelsey Hulse, a Democrat from the north county, is a better choice to replace Romero in the District 2 seat. Hulse runs the nonprofit fund-raising foundation for The Evergreen State College, and she strikes us as thoughtful, eager to base decisions on data, and willing to listen and learn from those who hold opinions different than her own.”

Unfortunately, the former lawman [Sheriff Edwards] is basing his campaign on old resentments over land use regulations and the jail, as well as longstanding complaints about staffing in the Sheriff’s Office, poor decisions championed by people who are no longer on the commission, and an economic platform built on wishful thinking.”

In the other race, Olympia City Councilman Jim Cooper, who leads a United Way regional organization, is the better of the two candidates. Also running is John “Hutch” Hutchings, a former Olympia police officer and former interim Tenino police chief, who is campaigning as an Independent.

Cooper is a former county Democratic Party chairman who played a role shaping the city’s successful parks levy campaign last year. In the past year, he stirred the pot with a $15 minimum wage proposal and talk of drafting a city income tax proposal that could have competed with the one on the ballot.

“But in hopping onto the anti-gopher parade, Hutchings is more likely to pick fights than solve thorny land-use issues.”
Read more

– Editor’s note:
The Olympian Editorial Board exquisitely laid-out why they support Commissioner candidates Hulse and Cooper!

While I stand-up for the constituents that have had their donations and support disenfranchised in the democratic process, Thurston Democrats Chair Katie Nelson is turning to the police, the Attorney General’s office, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), indicating the unauthorized use of their phone number by Morgan’s group for robocalls may have violated federal rules.

Enough of Glen Morgan’s charade in disenfranchising Knight’s or any voter’s participation in the democratic process. The time has come that the media giving Morgan their ear must cease!

October 24, 2016

Commission Candidate Hutchings decries Robocalls –
Yelm Blog calls on Hutchings to return contributor’s $$$ who funded calls –
Could Robocalls have violated federal election laws?

Commission Candidate Hucthings poster about his donors,
yet campaign contributor also funded decried robocalls.
Photo credit: Vote Hutch

* County Commission Candidate Hutchings decries Robocalls against Cooper.
* Was unaware of calls, says of them: ‘cheap tactics and slimy activism.’
* Large donor to Hutchings campaign also funded robocalls.
* Robocalls also directed at JZ Knight’s donations to Dem candidates.
* Thurston Democrats turn to Police, Attorney General, FCC for use of their number.
* Federal election laws may have been violated.
* This Blog calls on Hutchings to return donor’s funds, distance himself further from this.
* WAC 480-120-253 on robocalls: Automatic dialing-announcing device (ADAD)

– District 1 County Commission Candidate Hutchings Decries Robocalls in The Olympian
“A robocall that went out to many South Sound residents Friday [Oct. 22] that said “Why does Democrat commissioner candidate Jim Cooper treat women like Donald Trump does?” was not paid for by his opponent John Hutchings.

Tenino’s former police chief, who is running as an independent, said he didn’t know about the message before it went out, and he fears it will cost him potential supporters. He called the message ‘cheap tactics and slimy activism.’

The message states that it was paid for by Friends of Jimmy and We Want to Be Friends of Jimmy Too [Gene and Janet Weaver are donors]. Both political committees are led by property rights activist Glen Morgan of Rochester, a frequent critic of the Board of County Commissioners,” quoting Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian.
Read more

– From the Thurston County Democrats
“About 60 women gathered at the Olympia water-front Saturday afternoon [October 22] to show their support for Jim Cooper, candidate for Thurston County Commissioner. Jim was the subject of a hateful “robo” call that alleged he ill-treats women.”

“Besides violating a number of Public Disclosure Commission rules, the call was set up to appear to come from the Thurston County Democrats’ phone number,” said Katie Nelson, chairwoman of the Thurston County Democrats, in the Thurston Democrats Weekly Newsletter.

– A Hutchings Campaign large donor is Gene Weaver, contributor to the robocalls fund
The WA Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) reports Gene Weaver of Rochester, WA. (Self-Employed Real Estate Mgr.) donated $1,000 to the Hutchings Campaign on September 19, 2016, the maximum allowed.
Read more
Gene Weaver donated to the “We Want to be Friends of Jimmy Too” Robocalls.

– Robocalls also received about JZ Knight’s donations to Democratic candidates
A simple internet look-up showed the original phone number for this robocall was Jim Cooper’s 2013 Campaign for Olympia City Council phone number.
Read more

– Editor’s note:
If District 1 County Commission Candidate Hutchings is serious about what he calls these ‘cheap tactics and slimy activism,’ then he needs to immediately return Gene Weaver’s campaign contributions and further distance himself publicly from this kind of behavior.

While I stand-up for the constituents that have had their donations and support disenfranchised in the democratic process, Thurston Democrats Chair Katie Nelson is turning to the police, the Attorney General’s office, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), indicating the unauthorized use of their phone number may violate federal rules. I can not support the acceptance/retention of funds from folks that may be involved in a federal investigation.

With the involvement of the police, the Attorney General’s office, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Hutchings MUST return Weaver’s donations, at the very least until an investigation has concluded.

Conservatives who disparaged JZ Knight’s donations in 2008 demanding Democrats return her campaign monies, can’t have it both ways. “You reap what you sow.”

– UPDATE: October 30, 2016
“County commission campaigns turn ugly with PAC-funded robocalls and mailers”
By Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian.
Read more

October 24, 2016

Trees Dying Across the US and Washington State Raise Concerns

Photo credit: Care2

– “Millions of Trees are Dying Across the US”
“Throughout the U.S., trees are dying at an astonishing rate. The reasons for the die-off vary from location to location — drought, disease, insects and wildfires – but the root cause in many of these cases is the same: climate change.”

“The presence of so many dead trees would be a tragedy anywhere, but in the mountains of the West, it’s particularly dangerous because the trees provide fuel for forest fires. It’s impossible for forest workers to chop down and remove millions of trees, so the majority of them are still standing.”

In Seattle, tree deaths are even hitting city parks. Pine beetles, once confined to a small part of the country, have spread throughout the U.S., apparently beyond our forests. More than 500 trees have been lost this summer alone — a normal year would see only about 130 trees culled.

While there’s some controversy over whether pine beetles are destroying forests or simply culling unhealthy trees, the fact remains that these tree deaths are a major warning sign.”

“Forests are one of the Earth’s most important protections again climate change. The trees themselves act as carbon sinks, sequestering nearly a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions from the air. When they die, that carbon is released back into the air,” by Julie M. Rodriguez, Care2.
Read more

October 23, 2016

Mark Your Calendars – Monty Python’s Spamalot comes to Yelm in Nov.

– Monty Python’s Spamalot comes to Yelm!
Standing Room Only PRESENTS…. Monty Python’s SPAMALOT.

– Story Synopsis
Monty Python’s Spamalot is the Broadway musical “lovingly” ripped off from the HILARIOUS and beloved movie, “Monthy Python and the Holy Grail”. It is the story of King Arthur, the Knights of round Table and their noble quest to find the Holy Grail. And killer Bunnies. And Three-headed Giants, and 40 foot tall wooden rabbits. And something about coconuts carried by swallows. THE POINT is… that Spamalot has been one of the hottest tickets on Broadway for the past 10 years with amazing music and dance numbers, and all of the brilliant dialogue and comically bizarre characters from the original movie… Including: “The Black Knight”, The Knights who say “Ni”. Sir Lancelot, Brave Sir Robin, Sir “Not Previously Appearing in this Musical” and … “Tim”. So, have a cup of tea, and allow these Knights of Camelot (and Standing Room Only) to entertain you in traditional Broadway style.
Read more

– Buy tickets for these showtimes
Nov 4th 7:30pm, Nov 5th 7:30pm, Nov 6th 2pm,
Nov 11th 7:30pm, Nov 12th 7:30pm, Nov 13th 2pm,
Nov 18th 7:30pm, Nov 19th SOLD OUT Special Engagement, Nov 20th 2pm,
Nov 25th 7:30pm, Nov 26th 7:30pm, Nov 27th 2pm.
Click here to buy tidkets.

– The Triad Theater
102 Yelm Ave. E.
Yelm, WA. 98597

October 22, 2016

Last words of Yelm man who died in I-5 crash,
‘Thanks for helping me’

– “Last words of man who died of injuries from I-5 crash: ‘Thanks for helping me’”
“The Washington State Patrol said one of the causing drivers, a JBLM soldier, killed a Yelm man who moments before had been involved a minor fender-bender on I-5 in Lakewood. WSP identified the victim as 46-year-old Jason Ley of Yelm.

Elma’s Tony Abbott, a witness to the crash, told Q13 News he tried comforting Ley during the ordeal.”

“Abbott said he feels thankful he could help bring calm to Ley who was in serious pain during the last few moments of his life.

“‘It’s sad that the last words this man will every speak is, ‘Thank you for helping me, Tony.’'”
By Steve Kiggins, KCPQ-13 TV News (Fox), Seattle.
Read more

October 22, 2016

Media again makes JZ Knight’s donations election fodder –
Yet other large campaign donors omitted in the story –
This kind of reporting is not in the public interest

* The Olympian headline focuses only on donations of JZ Knight to Dem campaigns
* Every election cycle, the media attempts to condemn candidates for accepting Knight’s money
* In 2008, 2012 and 2016, Knight’s contributions to candidates make front-page headlines
* Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Roy) said he represented all constituents, including Knight and her students
* Auditor Mary Hall (D-Lacey) took same stand and won in Yelm area districts
* Hall was first Democratic County Auditor elected in 71 years
* No Republican or Independent County Commission candidate has ever visited Knight or RSE
* RSE is an economic contributor to SE Thurston and Yelm revenue streams
* Democratic candidates follow Republican Campbell’s bold stand, support ALL constituents
* Omissions of largest donor(s) to opposing Independent candidates not in the public interest

– “Thurston commission hopefuls talk goals, gophers and Ramtha money”
By Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian, October 20, 2016
Read more

– Editor’s Note:
While I appreciate that The Olympian reporter Lisa Pemberton has been the only one from her newspaper to participate in a Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) event (July 2006), her report Thursday evening about campaign contributions to Thurston County Commissioner candidates and listing only JZ Knight’s donations, was misplaced. In every election cycle since 2008 when Knight first decided to contribute in local races, Republican candidates all the way up the line to the Washington State Republican Chair Susan Hutchison have condemned this region’s Democratic candidates and the Thurston Democrats for accepting Knight’s donations. Yet an elected Representative from their own Republican party, Dr. Tom Campbell, DC (R-Roy), was the very first elected official to accept Knight’s contributions and subsequent invitation to visit RSE in 2005 when Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. addressed the school’s student body in Yelm on environmental issues.

Rep. Tom Campbell said he represented all constituents, including Knight and her students
and recognized the economic contributions Knight and her businesses make to the region’s revenue stream. Further, he acknowledged that prior to 2010, RSE drew the largest annual number of worldwide visitors to the area, except for state government. In 2008, Thurston Democrats Chair Roger Erksine (deceased) followed in Rep. Campbell’s footsteps being inclusive of JZ Knight and RSE students, underscoring these are not only area voters, yet live and work here, own vibrant businesses, participate in local civic issues, and have been part of the fabric of the culture here for over 30 years. County Auditor candidate Mary Hall (D-Lacey) followed and took the same stand and Knight’s donations and won in Yelm’s surrounding districts. Hall was first Democratic County Auditor elected in 71 years. While Republicans and the media piled-on in criticizing Democratic candidates accepting Knight’s campaign donations, current Democratic candidates have taken the same stand as did Rep. Campbell over a decade ago – they WILL accept Knight’s contributions, will visit her school, and will meet with RSE students to discuss issues that are important for this area’s future. County Commission District 2 candidate Kelsey Hulse solidly affirmed her accepting Knight’s money to Pemberton in The Olympian:
“‘My thinking is, I spent some time down there, went to the school fundraiser they have and the interactions that I’ve had with folks who prescribe to the belief system have been universally positive,’ she said. ‘ … And surprisingly diverse, quite frankly.'”

– Bottom line:
Pemberton’s report solely focused on Knight’s donations to the two Democratic County Commission candidates and to the People For Thurston County, a new political committee. Had Pemberton taken a balanced approach to her story, she could have informed and educated The Olympian readers on the top source(s) of funding to the largest campaign war chest with $87,667 in donations to-date, that of County Commissioner District 2 candidate Gary Edwards, a 5-term Republican Sheriff (retired) now running as an Independent. The major contributor(s) to Edwards’ campaign and District 1 Commissioner candidate John Hutchings campaigns would have been instructive to read. With such an omission, this blogger says she missed an important opportunity.

Click here for the contributors list and dollar amounts to Edwards campaign, type in “Edwards, Gary” then see the donations from the Bormans, their Keystone Masonry, plus other building trades, the Schornos, and the Clapp/Williams sisters & family.

Click here for the contributors list and dollar amounts to Hutchings campaign, type in “Hutchings, John” then see the donations from the Bormans, their Keystone Masonry, plus other building trades.

I find such omissions, in an unbalanced report published the same day as the ballots were received in area mailboxes, unwise and not in the best interests of the voting public.

– UPDATE: October 23, 2016
Perennial Thurston County election propagandist against Democrats, Glen Morgan (former of the Freedom Foundation) has again taken aim in this election, and has The Olympian’s ear. That is why
Pemberton ran with listing only Knight’s donations above, because Morgan filed suit against one of her non-profit recipients. Again, this is a tactic he does every election cycle – yawn.
Then there is this story out today:

“Cooper and Hutchings say they’re both upset by PAC’s robocall”
“The message states that it was paid for by Friends of Jimmy and We Want to Be Friends of Jimmy Too. Both political committees are led by property rights activist Glen Morgan of Rochester, a frequent critic of the Board of County Commissioners.”

We Want to be Friends of Jimmy Too has raised $2,300; its donors include Terry Ballard of Lacey, Gene and Janet Weaver of Rochester, Dream Weavers Inc. of Rochester, Kevin O’Sullivan of Olympia and Pat Tarzwell of Shelton, according to Public Disclosure Commission reports,” by Lisa Pemberton.
Read more

Blogger Klein was the Event Services Manager for Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment from 2003-2014 and has been a student of Ramtha for 31 years.

October 21, 2016

Yelm FFA Named Model of Excellence Winner

Yelm FFA students receiving awards in Indianapolis.
Photo courtesy: National FFA Convention

– “Yelm FFA Named Model of Excellence Winner at the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo”
“Yelm FFA was given a week by the Yelm High School administration to develop an event to distribute spirit materials for a “Pink Out” breast cancer awareness football game. Through the chapter’s efforts, 368 Yelm High School students received pink face paint, hair dye or spirit materials and together created a “sea of pink” to raise breast cancer awareness among students, parents and community members. As a result of the event, the chapter recruited six new FFA members who were inspired by the cause. This chapter also conducts other activities throughout the year, such as a leadership lock in, the McKenna Elementary Science Fair and a Hop for Hunger,” by Thomas Shaw, National FFA Convention.
Click here for Yelm students being interviewed.

– From Yelm Community Schools
“The Yelm FFA Chapter was just named No. 1 Chapter Model of Excellence in the nation out of 7,859 chapters!

Pictured above are Yelm FFA students receiving the award.

Congratulations also to Erin Smith who tied for 5th place at the FFA nationals in public speaking!”

We are so proud!”
Read more

October 20, 2016

Puget Sound recovery initiative announced by The White House and WA leaders

The White House seal

– From Gov. Jay Inslee
“White House, Washington state and federal leaders announce major new initiatives for Puget Sound recovery”

“[On Tuesday, October 18] officials from the Obama administration and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Reps. Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larsen announced new federal actions to help protect and recover the health of Puget Sound, one of the nation’s largest estuaries. These actions demonstrate a firm commitment from the federal government to help restore Puget Sound, and are similar to federal actions taken in recent years to protect other large aquatic ecosystems, such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes.”

“Too often, conversations in Washington, DC, on restoring America’s waterways start with the Chesapeake Bay and end with the Great Lakes. Today we are pushing our nation’s conservation priorities westward and bringing attention to Puget Sound, the iconic estuary that is part of our national identity and the heart of the Pacific Northwest. With this announcement, we are reaffirming that Puget Sound recovery will be a central part of our federal government’s conservation priorities moving forward. I look forward to working with our next president and Congress to provide the necessary resources to save our Sound.”
Congressman Denny Heck, co-chair of the Congressional Puget Sound Recovery Caucus

Read more from Gov. Jay Inslee’s news release.

– From The White House, Washington, D. C.
“Taking Action to Protect the Puget Sound Watershed”

“Today, we’re announcing new steps to protect and restore the Puget Sound watershed.”

“Encompassing 8 million acres of rivers, bays, beaches and shorelines, the Puget Sound watershed in Washington State serves as an economic and cultural hub for the region’s more than 4.7 million people, including 19 federally recognized tribes. The Sound’s stunning natural beauty — including three national parks, a national monument, as well as numerous national forests, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas — provides critical habitat for hundreds of fish, birds, and marine species, including 13 marine mammals such as harbor seals and orcas.

A healthy Puget Sound provides key economic, cultural and ecological benefits, and serves as the cornerstone of the region’s high quality of life. That’s why today we’re announcing a new action to protect and restore the Puget Sound watershed through the establishment of a Federal Puget Sound Task Force and the release of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) directing federal agency restoration activities in the Puget Sound region,” by Christy Goldfuss, The White House.
Read more

October 20, 2016

Proposal to build affordable housing in Thurston County

– Editor’s note:
While Yelm is not included in the proposed levy, this is important to assist Thurston County’s “most vulnerable people” and perhaps one-day, can be used as a model for implementation in Yelm.

– “Group pushes for tax to build affordable housing in Thurston County”
“An advocacy group is lobbying leaders in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater to support a property tax that would pay for more affordable housing in Thurston County.

The Home Fund group wants the county’s three biggest cities to put a housing levy before their respective voters sometime in 2017.

Supporters say more affordable housing options will reduce the strain on local homeless shelters, hospitals and jails while also serving the county’s most vulnerable people. The goal is to create 500 new affordable housing units and help more than 2,400 households during the course of the seven-year levy.”

“Thurston County already ranks near the bottom in the state for housing affordability, with an average monthly rent of $963 for a family of four, according to a recent United Way study. About 12 percent of Thurston County’s 99,815 households live below the poverty line, and another 23 percent qualify as struggl,” quoting Andy Hobbs, The Olympian.
Read more

October 19, 2016

Historic Yelm Democratic Candidates Forum held Oct. 16 –
Public interfaced to hear views and ask questions

Back row: Chris Reykdal, Jim Cooper, Marilyn Rasmussen, Shelly Speirs, Phyllis Farrell.
Front row: Kelsey Hulse, Charlie Wiggins, Amy Pivetta Hoffman.
Photo courtesy: LD2 Thurston Democrats

* First-ever Thurston County Democrats 2nd LD (Legislative District) Candidate Forum held in Yelm.
* The Sunday, Oct. 16th event at Yelm’s Prairie Hotel was open to the public.
* Yelm, rural Thurston, SW Pierce voters opportunity to engage with Democratic candidates on the issues.

* Candidates running for these offices included:
Amy Pivetta Hoffman, LD 2 Statehouse Representative,
Marilyn Rasmussen, LD 2 Statehouse Senator,
Jim Cooper, Thurston County Commissioner, District 1,
Kelsey Hulse, Thurston County Commissioner, District 2,
Shelly Speir, Pierce County Superior Court Judge,
Charlie Wiggins, Supreme Court Justice,
Chris Reykdal, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
Rep. Denny Heck, Congressional Representative, 10th Congressional District sent a message,
– Unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict: Derek Maynes, LD 2 Statehouse Representative.

– Thurston Dems conducted candidates forum in Yelm
The 2nd Legislative District Thurston County Democrats hosted a first-of-a kind Town Hall Public Forum in Yelm last Sunday afternoon with their candidates for public office. Former LD2 Democrats Chair Roger Erskine (deceased) was instrumental in involving SE Thurston and SW Pierce in a public discourse, and in bringing then-County Auditor candidate Mary Hall to Yelm for a public Forum with keynote speaker Rep, Denny Heck. Hall was subsequently elected as the first Democratic County Auditor in Thurston County in 71 years.

Approximately 50 people gathered last Sunday from 4-6pm to personally meet and engage these party candidates, with an informal exchange at the Prairie Hotel, followed by an explanation of each candidates platform and their vision, plus questions taken from the audience. Joining the collective were Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall, State Committee Democrat in Thurston County Christine Garst, Democrats LD2 Chair Phyllis Farrell, Weir Prairie (Rainier) PCO John Marley, and other area officials. Excellent questions were posed by the audience, including Scott Brineman’s of the South Puget Sound Carpenters Local 129, affiliated with the UBC (United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiner of America) and Diane Dondero’s, former County Commissioner District 1 candidate. Rep. Denny Heck was on assignment and while not available to attend, he sent his Thurston/Mason Counties office representative, handsome and enthusiastic Misha to deliver his message to the Yelm collective.

– Editor’s note:
While this was an historic event for Yelm to be the locale of such a fine gathering of candidates, also noted was an absence of ANY Yelm officials and the local newspaper. I care not what party to which Interim Mayor Foster adheres, he should have been present, or at the very least sent Mayor Pro-tem Wood to issue a welcome statement on his behalf, and especially to acknowledge a sitting Supreme Court Justice (who incidentally sided with the City of Yelm in a recent water case)! That was a major fauz pas on Interim Mayor Foster’s part.


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